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A Louisiana woman has filed a new Zantac lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware. As the heir and surviving spouse of the deceased plaintiff, she claims that Zantac is unreasonably dangerous and caused the death of her spouse.

Plaintiff Blames Zantac for Husband’s Deadly Cancer

According to her complaint, the decedent purchased and ingested Zantac (ranitidine), which was manufactured, marketed, and sold by the defendants. The plaintiff claims that as a result of taking the stomach acid-reducing drug, her husband developed cancer and died.

The problem, according to the plaintiff, was that Zantac contained unsafe quantities of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a cancer-causing agent. Had her husband known this, she states, he would never have taken the drug.

Because he contracted cancer, the decedent had to undergo extensive medical treatments, for which the plaintiff is now seeking reimbursement. Both plaintiffs had to endure pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of earnings, and loss of earning capacity.

Zantac On the Market for Decades Before Recall

Zantac first came onto the market in 1983, but it wasn’t until 2019 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that it may contain NDMA. The agency had been investigating the chemical in other medications, including blood pressure medications such as valsartan, and had overseen a few recalls of those medications.

Then in September 2019, the FDA released a safety communication warning healthcare providers and the public about the possibility that Zantac and generic ranitidine drugs could also contain NDMA. Several product recalls followed, including one implemented by Zantac manufacturer Sanofi in October 2019.

Yet the FDA stopped short of recalling all Zantac medications until April 1, 2020. At that time, independent lab tests had discovered NDMA levels could increase in Zantac over time and with exposure to warm temperatures, such as those that occur during transport.

“The agency has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures,” the FDA stated in a press release, “and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity.”

Zantac On the Market for Decades Before Recall

The plaintiff states in her complaint that the manufacturers should have known about the potential for ranitidine to potentially contain NDMA long before the recalls took place.

“At the time that ranitidine was developed,” she states in her complaint, “there was already existing scientific literature strongly suggesting that drugs like ranitidine, which contain a dimethylamine (DMA) group, are highly likely to form NDMA, when combined with other substances like, for example, nitrite found in the body.”

She adds that the dangers of NDMA formation from ranitidine should have been obvious to manufacturers and sellers of Zantac: “For example, one taking Zantac would likely be doing so in connection with a meal. Many meals contain additional nitrites above that which is found naturally in the body.”


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